Photos by Asia Morris.

In March, the Arts Council for Long Beach opened its inaugural Artist Registry exhibition at The Collaborative, a space reactivated in the fall following a lull between lease agreements.

Meditations marks the grand reopening of the downtown Long Beach gallery, a renewed partnership between the arts council and Lyon Property Management—a former partner, the Museum of Latin American Art chose not to continue—as well as the physical manifestation of the arts council’s revamped artist registry. It’s the first of four exhibits featuring the works of artists who have already registered, a promotional tool to encourage more local creatives to register and a small showcase of what Long Beach artists are all about.

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Curated by co-chair of the newly established Community Arts Program committee, Brian Trimble, artists Betsy Lohrer Hall, Brittany Ransom, Gail Werner and Meeson Pae Yang all tell a visual story about how they connect with the natural or human-made environment.

Artist Pae Yang, whose works Transfer and Connections explore the convergence of science, technology and mythology, said she hopes viewers feel submerged within her installations of translucent and reflective material.

“I hope viewers take a moment to slow down the pace of this frenetic life and be drawn to a moment of reflection and contemplation on nature and our relationship to nature,” Pae Yang said. “And be inspired to take tiny moments to appreciate the small wonders that construct and keep our environment moving, growing and renewing.”

For Transfer, Pae Yang captured images under a microscope, collecting specimens and photographing them with a DSLR attachment. She printed and layered the images onto the tube structures, connecting clustered pipettes to resemble nature’s growth systems.

Connections is inspired by the intricate shapes of neurons, and their vital function in processing and transmitting information, Pae Yang said. Her sketches of neurons and other tendril-like forms were combined and reworked, then traced into a vector program and processed on a laser cutter, with some cast in resin to vary their texture and translucency.

“There is a sense that these forms will continue to grow and expand and this installation is a small sliver of time capturing a still moment in the cycle of life,” Pae Yang said.

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On view concurrently is a window exhibition, Senses, at the Pacific Court Apartments located at 250 Pacific Avenue, featuring the works of Arezoo Bharthania, Kimberly Morris and Martin Alexander.

The Collaborative seems like its in good hands with this renewed partnership, showing great potential to be a more activated space aiming to serve Long Beach’s arts community. After hearing the thoughts of representatives from various local art collectives during a recent Open Conversations event held in the gallery, now in the hopper for this fall is a request for proposals for curators, according to Lisa DeSmidt, marketing manager for the arts council.

“The opening [for Meditations] was really successful, we had a lot of people here, a lot of people were really excited and it was a lot of new faces, a lot of old faces,” said DeSmidt. “There was nothing but positive feedback from people in the community which was really exciting to hear.”

Meditations will close on May 18. The Collaborative is open Wednesday through Saturday, 12:30PM to 5:00PM, and is located at 421 West Broadway.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].